MMORPG.com's Bill Murphy gives us his thoughts and opinions on the happenings in and around the world of MMORPGs.
Ten years. It’s been TEN-FREAKING-YEARS since I first started as a writer here at MMORPG. In that time, I’ve gone to more events than I can count, written more articles than I ever expected, helped start and end RTS and FPSGuru, revamped GameSpace.com and took it over with the indomitable Suzie Ford, and most importantly - I’ve been able to make something happen that I never thought I could - I made my passion my career. But all good things must come to an end, even I can’t outlast Meridian 59...
It’s summer. You know what that means! It’s way too hot to go outside, and the perfect time to play games all day (at least, that’s what I tell myself). The problem? There’s just not a whole lot I find that I want to play. So, that begs the question – what are you waiting for? In the world of MMOs, specifically, I’m going to rattle off what’s on my “do want” list, and hope you’ll join in me in needlessly wishing for games that aren’t here yet.
As we learned yesterday, ZOS is indeed working on at least one new game that’s not Elder Scrolls Online. Judging by hiring calls on their website, it looks like it may be two new games - one PC and console focused, and one mobile F2P focused. Or perhaps it’s one larger project that somehow merges the two. The question is - just WTF is their next big game?
I’ve noticed something of late - I haven’t logged into a real MMORPG, even my precious Elder Scrolls Online, in weeks. In ESO’s case, this is partly because I’m waiting for Elsweyr. But usually, between big content swells of ESO, I’m at least playing something else - GW2, WoW, FFXIV, Neverwinter, and so forth. But there’s a type of game that seems to be meeting my needs for persistence and online play. I’ve been trying to think of a name for them for ages, and I think Almost MMO just about covers it.
Well, thanks to some enthusiastic data miners, the cat (literally) is out of the bag and next week’s big Elder Scrolls Online reveal is going to be an expansion set in Elsweyr, the home of the Khajiit. As evidenced by a package I received this week from none other than Abnur Tharn, it seems the Imperial mage may have some ideas on how to end the Three Banners War and bring about peace to Tamriel... but I’m betting it won’t be that simple.
Looking back at 2018, I can’t say if I have just one favorite game. I’ve played more great games this year than I can count, but there are some that stand out for sure. From MMOs to Single Player, my backlog of games to finish keeps growing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But if I had to pick just a handful of games as my favorites from 2018, this would be the list.
The launch of Fallout 76 has been... well let’s just say that I doubt it went the way Bethesda was hoping. But as a fan of two MMOs that have really turned things around through communication and perseverance (FFXIV and ESO), I’m hopeful that 2019 could bring good things to Fallout 76. It’s not a quick road back to the good graces of angry gamers, but the following is a list of things that I’d like to see from the dev team in the new year.
When I look at this year’s game snafus, most recently the growing pains that Fallout 76 is experiencing, I’m reminded of a simpler time when online games were young and the lure of using playtests as marketing tools was nearly non-existent. There was a time, as many of you probably remember when a beta test was actually a test and not a way to drive sales or generate hype for a game through the use of influencers.
Yes, it's true - Fallout 76 limits players-per-world to 24. And to some, that's going to disqualify it from MMO status off the bat. I get why, I just hope MMO fans don't write off the game because of this number. Because at its core, it's the best new online RPG experience I've had in ages.
ArenaNet should be having a good time. The latest update to the Path of Fire expansion came out, it was universally acclaimed by media and players. They’ve scored a win, and regained momentum. But then… well, then an employee spoke out on Twitter. And then the President made an example of her, and another employee. And now ArenaNet is in the middle of a PR blunder of its own creation.
Often in the MMO world, we get a little tired of seeing the same game released by different companies and called something new. There are gems that try to break the mold, but few really just go for it. Perhaps it’s the general freedom afforded by the IP and visual stylings, but the bravest MMO on the market right now is none other than Trion Worlds’ Trove.
It seems like a long shot, since traditionally Eastern MMORPGs are played but niche here in the states. But I think there’s good reason to believe that on the heels of successful games like Black Desert Online, Ascent: Infinite Realm and Bless Online could make publishers think twice about investing in AAA MMORPGs. Of course, this is purely me spitballing on a slow news Friday, so let’s play shall we?
A:IR, or Ascend: Infinite Realm, was just fully revealed ahead of G-STAR 2017. Being made by Bluehole Studio (TERA) and brought west by Kakao Games (Black Desert), it looks to have everything an MMORPG fan desires. RVR combat, complex crafting, housing, customizable airships, pets, deep classes, a massive world, player-made quests, and so forth. Could it be that the first big AAA MMORPG to hit the West in years will come out of South Korea?